WESTERN CAPE & WINELANDS
About 40 km to the east of Cape Town, lying in the shadow of a continuous belt of Cape fold mountains, lies a series of generous valleys known as the Cape Winelands – a collection of historic towns, little hamlets and Cape Dutch farmsteads that provide well-regarded South African wines to the world. These mountains create an incredible scenic backdrop for a myriad vines, but they are also one of the reasons wines do so well here. Their geological compositions provide unique soil conditions that directly effect the character of wine.
The topography of wineland soils vary substantially, ranging from shallow, rocky soils on steep slopes and plateaus, to reddish-brown soils along mountain foothills - the predominant soil type of the Cape Winelands, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington particularly.
Like successful European wines these inland vineyards benefit from a typical Mediterranean climate. However, the influence of nearby oceans means that summers have the advantage of offshore winds far more than northern hemisphere counterparts, giving credence to the
saying: 'a vineyard that can see the sea, is a good vineyard'.
Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Tulbagh, and Wellington form the backbone of the Cape Winelands* – their wine routes representing hundreds of wine and grape producers. These valleys are the largest winemaking region in the country with grape cultivation that dates
back to the 1600s.